In the beginning of the week starting with Monday the 24th of November the China Green Transport Summit took place. I was scheduled for arriving Monday morning but due to very bad weather conditions in Helsinki my flight was delayed some 6 hours. Fortunately, our hosts managed to reschedule my presentation and arrange for an emergency chairman for the afternoon session.
In the presentation Volvo Bus communicate the short term benefits of looking at total life cycle cost of ownership and environmental values and in particular for high capacity buses. Because of the recent launch of the new Volvo low floor hybrid bus this became a natural part of the presentation as well.
Volvo has a joint venture company, Sunwin, with our Chinese business partner SAIC. Our common agenda of providing superior environmental performance and because of the high ambition of Shanghai, the home city of our Chinese operations, we have been able to become one of the leading actors when it comes to emission performance and fuel consumption on the Chinese market.
The presentation led to many inspiring questions: i) the rational behind Volvo selecting parallel hybrid systems when many talk about serial hybrids, ii) how Volvo pictures sustainable city buses in the future, or iii) how China can take advantage of Volvo’s BRT experience.
In short I responded:
Hybrid: Volvo has selected the hybrid technology to minimise the life cycle cost for the owner. We have put emphasis on reliability and uptime. It was not possible to find several of the key components available from the automotive supplier. Volvo has therefore made an effort to realise all necessary components that were needed to achieve the most competitive solution for HD vehicles and in particular buses. This may be a part of the reason for why Volvo has come further and to other technology than other actors.
Future: From a sustainability perspective high capacity articulated buses in combination with hybrid feeder buses will offer an almost perfect combination for city transports. The low energy use gives an exceptional environmental performance that is competitive to metro, tram and other heavy electrified transports. And, when it comes to cost efficiency there is even less competition.
BRT: Volvo is actively exploring possibilities to support the leading cities of China, which put priority to city emissions, with our experiences.
Other presenters spoke about the Chinese ambition to introduces Euro IV by 2010. The main path is SCR technology possibly in combination with “open substrate” diesel particulate filters. Chinese authorities will support the use of AdBlue for Euro IV.